Several Penn State Women’s Soccer Players Training In WPSL
A large contingency of Penn State women’s soccer players are spending their summer with various WPSL teams across the country.
Kaleigh Riehl, Kristin Schnurr, and Casey Ballow are training with the Washington Spirit Reserves, while Emily Ogle and Maddie Elliston will suit up for the Cleveland Ambassadors.
Shea Moyer and Sarafina Valenti are playing for the Lehigh Valley Tempest and Kerry Abello is with the Chicago Red Stars Reserves.
Last summer, Ogle, Elliston, Moyer, Charlotte Williams, and Laura Freigang trained with the Seattle Sounders Women. Freigang recently signed a pro contract with 1. FFC Frankfurt in her native Germany, ending her collegiate eligibility after two seasons in State College.
Elliston, a redshirt senior defender, will serve as Penn State’s lone captain this season.
A few years ago, Mallory Weber and Britt Eckerstrom — who are currently Portland Thorns FC teammates in the NWSL — went the same route for their summer training sessions. Fellow Penn State graduate Elizabeth Ball is also a member of the Thorns.
Head coach Erica Dambach has grown fond of allowing her players to diversify their summer plans rather than simply training on campus and taking classes.
“Over the years, we’ve tried to provide the student-athletes with opportunities to go play if they choose to,” Dambach said last summer. “Sometimes they’ll go back to their hometown, sometimes they’ll train here on campus with our strength coach, but sometimes they take the chance to go and train in a different environment.”
Penn State traveled to Nicaragua with associate head coach Ann Cook over spring break to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her involvement with the country’s Soccer Without Borders program.
The Women’s Premier Soccer League was founded in 1997 and is home to 108 teams in the United States and Puerto Rico. It is a level below the National Women’s Soccer League, which was formed in 2012 and features nine pro clubs.
This coming season, the Nittany Lions return nine players with starting experience. Penn State opens its 2018 schedule at home against West Virginia on Friday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m.